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Fazal Imam Vs. Sukor Mahton - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1914Cal766,25Ind.Cas.442
AppellantFazal Imam
RespondentSukor Mahton
Excerpt:
bengal tenancy act (viii of 1885), sections 29, 74, 147b - compromise--enhancement of rent in kind. - .....have entered is in contravention of sections 147a and 147b of the bengal tenancy act. in the record of rights the rent which is payable in kind is stated to be one-half of the produce. in the present suit, however, the landlords claimed more than a half share of the produce; the defendants did not resist the claim. in fact, the common case of both the parties is that for a long series of years the tenants have paid rent to the landlords at the rate alleged, and they jointly prayed that a decree might be drawn up in terms of the petition of compromise filed by them. it thereupon became the duty of the court to determine, under section 147a, sub-section 2, of the bengal tenancy act, whether the terms of the compromise, if they had been embodied in a contract, could be enforced under.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal on behalf of the plaintiffs-landlords in a suit for rent. The substantial question for. consideration is, whether the compromise into which the landlords and the tenants have entered is in contravention of Sections 147A and 147B of the Bengal Tenancy Act. In the Record of Rights the rent which is payable in kind is stated to be one-half of the produce. In the present suit, however, the landlords claimed more than a half share of the produce; the defendants did not resist the claim. In fact, the common case of both the parties is that for a long series of years the tenants have paid rent to the landlords at the rate alleged, and they jointly prayed that a decree might be drawn up in terms of the petition of compromise filed by them. It thereupon became the duty of the Court to determine, under Section 147A, Sub-section 2, of the Bengal Tenancy Act, whether the terms of the compromise, if they had been embodied in a contract, could be enforced under the provisions of the Statute. The Courts below have held that the agreement was in contravention of Sections 29 and 74 of the Bengal Tenancy Act. In our opinion, this view cannot possibly be maintained.

2. Section 29 deals with the case of enhancement of money rent of an occupancy raiyat. Here, as already stated, the rent is payable in kind, consequently Section 29 has no application nor does Section 74 govern the matter. The quantity of produce in excess of a half share, admitted by the tenants to be payable, is in no sense an illegal cess within the meaning of Section 74; it is paid as part of the rent, though, no doubt, the landlords pay certain officers their salaries from the excess quantity of produce thus received by them from the tenants. As neither Section 29 nor Section 74 is applicable, there is no reason why a decree should not be drawn up in accordance with the terms of the compromise. We are further of opinion that Section 147B does not touch the matter. That section merely shows that the Court shall have regard to the entries in the Record of Rights relating to the subject-matter in dispute. Here, the Court has considered the entries in the Record of Rights; but it has also found upon the evidence that rent has been paid by the defendants to the plaintiffs for a long series of years at the rate claimed by the landlords. Consequently the presumption of accuracy which attaches to an entry in the Record of Rights has been rebutted in this case.

3. The result is that this appeal is allowed and the decrees of the Court below discharged. A decree will be drawn; up in accordance with the terms of the petition of compromise. There will be no order for costs in any of the Courts because the tenants are not responsible for the view taken by the Courts below.

4. It is conceded that this judgment, will govern the other Appeals Nos. 3196, 3471 to 3480 and 34S2 to 3546 of 1910 in which similar decrees will be drawn up.


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